You all are probably thinking that this is going to be another Harry Potter post, right? Well, much as I hate to disappoint you, but it’s not. This post is actually about when a “good” character does unforgivable things. An example of this to me, happens to be in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
I know a lot of people like the character Xander, but I personally think he’s the most despicable character on the show. Whenever everyone is laughing at his jokes or anything, I’m like this:
Seriously, if Joss Whedon had decided that Xander had to go, I would have shed no tears. In fact, I might have raised a glass of wine to his demise. Now, the reason why I hold so much dislike for this character is actually because of something he did at the end of the second season.
When Willow was trying out a spell to give Angel his soul back, she asked Xander to tell Buffy that she was doing that. Later, when he sees Buffy before the big end all fight he says nothing, even though he clearly remembers. To me, this betrayal was huge. Not only was it a betrayal to Willow, it was a betrayal to Buffy, too. And his reasoning for this betrayal was what? Jealousy?
Jealousy is not a good enough excuse to try and get someone killed, especially when you know that it will really hurt the person who has to kill them and that person happens to be one of your best friends/crush. The whole act stinks of betrayal, and is something that I find to be completely unforgivable in a supposedly “good” character. And what really just digs under my skin about this whole thing is the fact that he never has to face any consequences for his actions. Maybe if he had, I might have been able to forgive him….maybe. That is until he cheated on Cordelia, and left Anya at the alter.
Anyways, the point of this post is if you have a character who is supposed to be a “good” character, be careful what actions they do. Some of those actions could be bad enough that your audience will not forgive them. This goes for best friends, potential love interests, and your protagonist. Buffy isn’t the only story that I feel has suffered from this. There have been many books where I feel like a “best friend” is a horrible person, and in some cases it annoyed me so much that I couldn’t finish the story.
So how about you? Have you watched or read anything where you feel like one of the characters was completely unforgivable? What actions and qualities do you find unforgivable in a character?